Mindfulness meditation is now being offered as a treatment for a wealth of medical issues, including: depression, anxiety and chronic pain to name a few. While it sounds nice, what is Mindfulness? Mindfulness is about maintaining a moment to moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. It is also about acceptance, meaning that we accept the thoughts and feelings are coming up in that specific moment, not the past, not the future. So many patients tell us that they just can’t stay “in the moment” during sex, and their mind wanders to the dishes in the sink, what they will have for breakfast, or if they remembered to take the trash out.
Practicing mindfulness meditation could be one answer to this issue. When I suggest it, many people seem reticent and will state “I can’t mediate.” Or ”I am not into that kind of stuff.” I totally understand that the idea of meditation seems daunting, and it is true that many forms of meditation require a specific belief or are part of a religion. However, I always tell patients; mindfulness is really what you want it to be. Take 10 or 15 minutes a day, (yes we really all do have the time) and sit by yourself. Put on soothing music or sit in silence Will your mind wander? Of course it will, and during those 10 minutes you can accept your own thoughts and feelings and bring them back to the moment. It takes practice and it is about changing your mindset, understanding that you have the ability to control your own thoughts, and bring them back to the moment. This skill can be very helpful when during sex your mind wanders off to the laundry that needs to be done, you will have practiced stopping these intrusive thoughts and get back to whatever fantasy has you back “in the moment.”